The problem with purebred pets is that in order for an animal to be considered purebred, its parents must be from the exact same gene pool.
After thousands of years of dipping into the same gene pool, inbreeding becomes unavoidable, and greatly increases the risk of genetic defects.
Genetic defects include epilepsy, bone disorders, cancer, heart disease, behavioral issues, and immune deficiencies.
The bulldog is the perfect example of a dog breed that has been bred to a state of very poor health.
Bulldogs were once an athletic breed with an elongated muzzle. Now they have been bred to have a squashed face; resulting in severe breathing problems that sometimes require surgery.
Female bulldog’s altered structure can not support the weight of a male during mating; forcing breeders to rely on artificial insemination. Most bulldog births must be done by c section because the puppies’ heads are too big to fit through the birth canal.
Very often, pop culture dictates the popularity of a dog breed. Once a breed appears in a movie, TV show, or commercial, there is a high demand, for that breed.
Many unqualified breeders will over-breed them to make a profit.
It is important to research the pros and cons of a breed before you decide to buy.
It is also important to consider that most dog breeds were initially bred to do some kind of work; which may result in high energy, digging, stubbornness, barking, and aggression towards other animals.
Some of the most common breeds surrendered to shelters are:
Pit bull - People don’t realize how powerful this breed is. They were originally bred to fight bears and bulls for entertainment.
Rottweiler - The breed most likely to bite a person.
Dachshund – Notorious diggers and sometimes difficult to house-train.
Chihuahua – This breed makes up 30% of dogs in California shelters. They are abandoned when people realize that they are actual dogs with actual needs; not just an accessory to go in a purse.
Boxer, border collie, German shepherd, jack russell terrier – All intelligent breeds with a lot of energy that can become destructive if bored or neglected.
If you decide that you absolutely must have a purebred, keep in mind that one out of every four dogs in shelters is a purebred.
It is easier than ever to search for a shelter dog online, and many shelters will put you on a waiting list for a specific breed. Always try to obtain a pet from a shelter before looking into breeders.
Today with the help of modern technology, finding a new pet is only a mouse-click away.
There are many websites that list animals for sale, most of them coming from backyard breeders.
Backyard breeders may seem perfectly harmless at first glance. The animals may seem happy and well taken care of, and their offspring may appear to be healthy.
The problem is that many breeders lack the required knowledge and training to properly care for these animals.
They are more interested in making money than providing proper care.
Many backyard breeders may not screen for genetic defects, and they may not have knowledge of the previous generations of their dog. They could be unaware of unwanted genetic traits that they may be breeding into new generations.
So how do you know if a breeder is legitimate?
The following are traits of a quality breeder:
Focuses on only one or two breeds, has years of experience and is very knowledgeable.
Keeps health records on the multiple generations of the dogs being bred.
Understands genetics and knows how to breed desirable qualities and avoid unwanted ones.
Checks you out to make sure that you will provide a good home for the animal and takes a deposit BEFORE a litter is produced. Reputable breeders will not breed until the animals are assured a home.
Has you sign a contract stating that you will take good care of the animal and not breed it. A good breeder will also follow up with you, checking on the condition of the animal.
Keeps the animal until it is weaned from its mother, preferably 8-12 weeks.
Provides you with references when asked.
Has return and refund policies. A legitimate breeder will refund your money if the animal dies and should always be willing to take the animal back if you can no longer care for it.